What Is The Bulldog Mindset? (Stoic Philosophy)
What is the Bulldog Mindset?
One of the most common questions I get asked on my YouTube channel is what exactly is the Bulldog Mindset.
The Bulldog Mindset is a bit difficult to describe, because it isn't any one thing. Instead, it's a philosophy or way of looking at the world that encompasses a great many concepts and values and is deeply rooted in stoic philosophy.
But, of course, that little statement doesn't get you any closer to understanding the Bulldog Mindset, so I'm going to outline some of the core tenants here and talk a little about each one of them.
The first tenant of the Bulldog Mindset is the mindset itself. It is at the center of everything else the Bulldog Mindset is, because without the correct mindset, wealth, health and relationships are by-products of chance instead of direct things we influence and control in our lives.
As I said earlier, the Bulldog Mindset is deeply rooted in stoic philosophy.
The ancient stoics, like Seneca or Marcus Aurelius, thought of stoic philosophy as the idea that you should be internally strong, self- reliant and not dependent on factors outside of yourself.
The idea was to be completely self-sufficient from a mindset perspective, not depending on anything or anyone for your internal state of being.
One of my favorite authors of all time, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, describes a stoic as a Buddhist who says “fuck you” to fate. I love that description because it's exactly how I think of a stoic—it's how I strive to live my life.
The big idea here—and one of the key principles of the Bulldog Mindset—is that we do not leave our lives up to fate. We insulate and buffer ourselves from the role of fate in our lives by becoming resilient and even Antifragile to circumstances.
Victim mindset versus Bulldog Mindset
The victim mindset says: “I'm a victim. Something bad happened to me and I can't control it. Life is unfair.”
The Bulldog Mindset says: “I may not be in control, but I'm responsible. Yes, life is unfair, but so what? Life is what it is. What I can control—and I can always control—is my perception and interpretation of the events and how I respond to them.”
The victim mindset says: “I'm not responsible. It's not my fault.”
The Bulldog Mindset says “I AM responsible. Everything is my fault. I take FULL responsibility for my life and my life circumstances.”
An extremely powerful book that illustrates this mindset is “Man's Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl. I highly recommend you read this book. Everyone should read this book.
“Man's Search for Meaning” tells the story of a man who was forced into a Nazi concentration camp, saw most of his loved ones killed, was brutally tortured and abused, yet still found that he had the power to see the good in his life and to decide that the one thing his captors and abusers could not take from him was the ability for him to interpret the events in his life and his choice of how to respond.
One mindset, many components
There are, of course, many components to this mindset, such as: discipline, rejection of external validation, persistence, overcoming fear, consistency, being a finisher, emotional mastery, hard work, acceptance, and many other ideas you'll find from many of the great teachers of wisdom throughout history.
Ultimately though, the mindset aspect of the Bulldog Mindset comes down to making the decision—the commitment—to be the kind of person who does not give up. The kind of person who bites hard onto what they want and doesn't let go until they die or they succeed.
In short, it's the winner's mindset. The mindset of champions. It's mental toughness, perseverance, endurance of hardship and taking control of your thoughts and emotions to propel you forward towards your goals in life.
It's never backing down.
The first branch of the Bulldog Mindset is that of health.
As Bulldogs, we value and take care of our health. We don't have to be athletes, but we seek to perform at our best, to look our best, to take care of our fitness and accomplish our health and fitness goals. This also includes our mental health.
We do this in a large part by being willing to endure—and even being willing to bring upon ourselves—physical pain and suffering in order to both strengthen our bodies and our minds.
Again, health and physical discipline relate back to mindset—that's why mindset is so important. In order to develop the physical discipline you need to train your body and not give up, you have to have the right mental framework. You have to be tough enough to endure physical pain and exhaustion. You have to be committed enough to keep going even when you want to give up.
Most people in life do not achieve their health and fitness goals because they lack the proper knowledge of how to achieve them and, even when they have this knowledge, they lack the commitment and self-discipline to continue towards their goals—especially when they feel like giving up.
I've been there myself. I've failed at my fitness goals more times than I can count—that is BEFORE I developed the Bulldog Mindset.
Now, I regularly lift weights three times a week, fast until 5 PM every single day (sometimes longer, we call this OMAD, or one meal a day), run marathons, practice Muay Thai, maintain a sub 10% body fat year round and participate in plenty of other physical disciplines.
I don't say all this to brag, but to tell you what is possible if you are able to master your mind—and emotions—and truly develop the Bulldog Mindset when it comes to health and fitness.
On this site and YouTube channel, you'll find topics related to:
- Building muscle
- Losing fat
- Athletic performance
- and more…
(I'll be linking out to some of these topics when blog posts are written about them.)
Mental health is also important
Let's not forget the mental health aspect of health—which is equally important.
Proper mental health is essential to your overall well being. You should feel good about yourself, have a positive self-esteem, have your ego in check, experience the full range of human emotions (including the bad ones), and find fulfillment and purpose in life.
This doesn't mean that Bulldogs don't ever experience depression, sadness, anxiety or even fear and desperation, but it means that we accept, embrace and then let go of all of these negative emotions, realizing that pain is part of life. In fact, pain is one of the things that tells us we are truly alive.
The Bulldog mindset embraces the idea that we'd rather live in a world full of color—even if we don't like some of the colors—than to live in a monochromatic world of black and white, from an emotional perspective.
Feel the pain, keep on walking is our motto in this regard.
On the positive side, disciplines like meditation, practicing gratefulness, and giving back can provide our lives with happiness, meaning, and fulfillment.
The Bulldog Mindset idea of mental health is deeply rooted in the practice of acceptance more than anything else. Again, this hearkens back to stoic philosophy and thought.
If you aren't quite sure what acceptance is—or you can't accept acceptance—give “Radical Acceptance,” by Tara Brach, a read.
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It might seem strange that wealth is a core tenant of the Bulldog Mindset, but in truth, to be successful in life, requires some knowledge of wealth management, wealth creation and financial acumen.
One of the goals of most Bulldogs is to become financially free. When you are financially free, you are able to live your life and spend your time as you see fit. When you don't have to worry about money, you can spend more of your time and resources developing yourself in other areas and—in general—you can live a more fulfilled life.
It is my goal for every Bulldog to some day become financially free—if they so desire it—and I believe, and know, it is possible, because I've already done it myself.
I “retired”, or rather achieved financial independence, at the age of 33 from a combination of real estate investments, entrepreneurial ventures and plain old hard work. Now I don't have to work, but I CHOOSE to in order to make a bigger impact and to give my life purpose and meaning.
You can absolutely do the same.
That's why at Bulldog Mindset, I spend a large amount of time talking about things like:
- Creating a business
- Real estate
- Stocks and options
- Money management
- Getting out of debt
- Passive income
- and more…
Mindset is essential
Again, this all comes back down to the mindset component of the Bulldog Mindset. If you do not have the mindset that says you will embrace failure and keep going, if you don't understand how to trust the process and divorce the results from the actions that produce them, if you are not well acquainted with the impact of luck and fate on financial matters, you will not persevere in your career, business or investing to the point of achieving the results you are capable of.
As Bulldogs, we must be adamant about achieving our financial and wealth building goals. We can't give up or delegate the responsibility to someone else. We have to take charge of our finances, learn and continue to learn, make wise investments and have the fortitude to stick things out.
Not everyone wants to become an entrepreneur, but if you do, it will require tremendous amounts of mental toughness, courage, resilience and the ability to persist—even when things are glum.
To say that entrepreneurship is an emotional roller coaster is an understatement. Entrepreneurship is often more like sky diving without a parachute and constructing your parachute on the way down. Very few people with the victim mindset ever succeed. (They just hit the pavement and splat.)
Ultimately though, the Bulldog Mindset view of wealth comes down to the idea of taking risks and overcoming the fear of failure that holds so many people back. Most people live their lives in cubicles, holding on dearly for retirement, being good little employees, listening to what their financial advisers tell them—never taking risks, never trusting themselves, never getting out of their comfort zone.
If there is a book all Bulldogs should read that very much outlines this Bulldog Mindset philosophy on wealth, it is “The Millionaire Fastlane,” by my friend M.J. DeMarco. I highly recommend you read this book.
The old classic, “The Richest Man in Babylon“, would also do you some good.
Relationships (read sex)
We would be amiss if we neglected relationships in the Bulldog Mindset philosophy and teachings, because relationships are one of the most important and meaningful parts of life—and just about everything we want in life is achieved in some way through the right relationships.
Relationships are not all about sex—I was just trying to get your attention in the header of this section—but, sex is definitely an important component of the Bulldog Mindset philosophy of relationships. It is often ignored because the truth about sex and human romantic interactions is not pleasant nor politically correct.
In order to achieve what we want in life and to live truly fulfilled lives, we have to become masters of relationships and relationship building. This doesn't just mean learning how to network or pick up chicks, but to understand how to relate to people, how to develop social skills, how to set proper boundaries in life, face rejection and, for men, to understand what it is to be a man and what real masculinity is.
At Bulldog Mindset you'll find relationship topics such as:
- Social skills
- Facing rejection
- Influencing people
- Pick up
- Porn and masturbation (yes, we do go there)
- Men topics
- Attracting women
- Becoming your own man
You might think that this seems a little biased since the Bulldog Mindset seems to embrace men's topics more than female topics. Can't females be Bulldogs as well?
Of course they can, but I'm a man; I can't tell you what it's like to be a woman or how to be a woman, but I can tell you how to be a man and how to deal with men's issues, because that is my frame of reference and I've personally coached many men on these topics.
For men, but not just men
Also—again not politically correct—but, the Bulldog Mindset does appeal much more to men. The idea of the Bulldog Mindset and being a Bulldog is a much more masculine trait and ideal. Again, it doesn't mean women can't be Bulldogs and benefit from having the Bulldog Mindset, but while women will find that it adds value to their life and makes them stronger and more successful, men will find it ESSENTIAL to survival.
A weak man is not a man that succeeds in life. The same can not be said for women.
With that said, if you are a woman and you are reading this, I welcome you. I welcome you to this community, to this message, to this mindset. There are plenty of women who have and continue to embrace the Bulldog Mindset and what it stands for, so you are not alone and, like I said, you are welcome.
Again, we can go back to the tenants of stoic philosophy to examine how the mindset aspect of the Bulldog Mindset plays into relationships. To be successful in the area of relationships in your life requires a “thick skin,” the ability to face and handle rejection, which itself requires a large degree of mental toughness and emotional mastery.
The people who are most successful at building and maintaining relationships in life are those who are able to get out of their comfort zone, show vulnerability, face rejection and social discomfort, and are able to control their emotions to a degree where their emotions do not dictate their interactions with others.
Men today, especially, are plagued with social anxiety. They are afraid to take their proper roles and place in society. We are constantly bombarded with the message of toxic masculinity and, as a result, most men continue to stay boys their entire lives.
They are afraid to take up what is theirs in life. They are afraid dominant or exhibit any of the truly masculine traits. They are afraid of women, afraid of society, afraid of judgment, do not trust themselves and care too much what other people think.
The Bulldog Mindset is all about getting over, facing and conquering those fears and becoming a stronger, better, and more disciplined man—and as a result, women will find you more attractive. (Unless you are a woman, in which case you can learn a lot about how to deal with men from these kinds of topics.)
With that said, it doesn't mean other social skills are not important.
It is also important to learn how to interact with people, win their favor and influence, to become a connector who is able to grease the wheels of social mobility, to “Win Friends and Influence People,” as the famous book by Dale Carnegie is titled. (By the way, read this book. Read it twice.)
Ultimately though, the Bulldog Mindset's view of relationships comes down to creating and giving value to others. If you are a person of high value, and you are able to communicate that value (not overtly), then people will want to be in relationship with you and you will be able to cultivate a high social status, which will gain you influence and respect.
Three pillars and one base
And that, my friends, is what the Bulldog Mindset is all about.
You can see in the Bulldog Mindset logo, how the three pillars of health, wealth and relationships surround the core base of mindset, which is represented by the bulldog in the center.
The bulldog here is wearing a suit and a tie, because even though we are aggressive and go after what we want in life, we do it with diplomacy and style. Unchecked aggressive stinks of oppression and thuggishness.
True Bulldogs are aggressive, take-action stoics, with class.
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